Arriving in the TP-40N

I got a chance to fly my TP-40N over the the Tico Airshow this March and participate in honoring the AVG Flying Tigers.  They were the pilots that signed up to help the Chinese before America entered WWII and were forever remembered for the shark-teeth painted on the cowling.  The reason I don’t have the shark teeth painted on this airplane is because it came out later in the war and is the only factory-built dual-control TP-40 flying in the world today!  Also, we have another P-40E that does have the shark teeth on it!

Line-up of P-40's in attendance

It had been years since I had been to the show as I generally stay don’t attend them like I used to, having done so for many years.  Put on by the Valiant Air Command, the show helps support their onsite museum.

Kicked back watching the show!

Tico was the first airshow I attended back in the early 1980’s in aircraft such as the P-51D Cripes A’Mighty and my Grumman Duck.  It brought back many fond memories of my early days.

On Stage soon!

Three P-40’s, including myself, attended and it was fun to fly with them for the crowd.


I continue to work, albeit slowly, on developing my private label rum brand called Naked in Jamaica based on the song I wrote and recorded of the same name and have blogged about before.

Aging in an Oak Barrel

In pursuing the blend we tried aging some in an oak barrel for six months, tasting samples every month for six months.  In the end, it wasn’t conducive for a flavored rum such as Naked in Jamaica, which is actually great as it shortens the time in bringing the product to market. I continue to play with the blending but it takes time, for once you blend something it takes about a month to “marry,” allowing all the ingredients to blend together into a smooth taste.  I’ve learned that blending is an art, not a science, for you don’t know how the different ingredients will react and affect the flavor when you put them together.  We’ve received approval for the basic blend and the next step is to get approval for the labeling on the bottle, which has to meet certain requirements.

Chef Kermit doing some sampling of his own!

One fun thing I got to do was participate in an event called Cooking Men.  I got to be Chef Kermit at a charitable fund-raiser where about 60 different members of the community supplied some kind of dish for the attendees paying to sample the different food stations.  Fantasy of Flight chef, Cory Reynolds, came up with a Naked in Jamaica infused desert topped with a to-die-for rum sauce.  We made way more than they required and ran out early!  Hopefully, that’s a premonition of things to come!


Astronaut Edgar Mitchell recently came by for a visit and tour of Fantasy of Flight.  He was the sixth man to walk on the moon and the Lunar Module Pilot for the Apollo 14 mission.  After successfully landing on the moon and departing, his job was basically done.  On the trip back to Earth he sat in thought as the capsule rotated for cooling purposes from the suns rays.

While looking out the window, he saw the Earth, then the sun Sun, then the Moon . . . every three minutes . . . for three days.  At some point, he had a very transformational and mystical experience which changed his whole perspective of life.  As a direct influence from this experience, he founded the Institute for Noetic Sciences to study human consciousness.

Edgar and myself touring Fantasy of Flight

But there’s somewhat of an interesting twist of synchronicity to our stories.  When Edgar founded IONS in Petaluma, CA, he also found interested people to help support and realize his dream.  As it turns out, and I didn’t know this until several years ago, the chairman of the Board of Directors for IONS for the first twenty years . . . was the lawyer that negotiated my famous geologist grandfather’s oil-royalty in Australia.  It has been my grandfather’s generosity that has allowed me to share my passions and good fortune with others.  Small world!

Edgar is also well known for his outspoken views on UFO’s and getting the government to disclose what they “really know” about them and alien life forms.  While giving Edgar a tour through my offices, I couldn’t help but take a picture in front of one the doors where the bathrooms are located, of which there are four.  One is for Ladies, one for Gentlemen, one for Angels, and one for Aliens.  In my world, you just never know who might stop by!

While the door is definitely an inter-dimensional portal to other realities . . . it also serves as a storage closet for Earthly maintenance products!

Small world?  Hey, maybe it’s a small Universe!


Coming back from my Heli-ski trip I stopped in Lewiston, ID to check out a dual-control Curtiss Pusher that had been built and flown to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the first airplane flight in Idaho.  It was built by Dean Wilson, whom I had met in the late 1980’s at an Idaho auction where I purchased my original WWI Avro 504.  Dean was the one that rebuilt it!

Hangar Flying . . . in the most open sense of the word!

It currently has a modern engine in it and some additions like primitive brakes and a castering nosewheel.  I felt this would be a good trainer for me for the Benoist project we’re building to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the 1st commercial airplane flight on 1/1/2014.

The airplane has flown about 7 hours and I can’t wait to get it home.  I just need to find some hangar space at Fantasy of Flight to put it in!


The year I hooked up with family and friends again and headed up to the Canadian Rockies west of Calgary to go Heli-skiing.  The lodges are out in the middle of nowhere and you can’t get there in the winter except by helicopter.

Waiting for the helicopter in front of the Bobbie Burns Lodge!

There, you find yourself in the middle of about 25 square miles of skiing just for you and about 40+ guests.  It was a great trip with a lot of great exercise and some breathtaking scenery.

Another day . . . another mountain . . . another run!

I really look forward to this trip every year and have been doing it now for over twenty years.


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